The Pitsylia area lies on the eastern slopes of the Troodos mountains range. Picturesque villages cling to the mountainside amid vineyards, orchards of almond and hazelnut trees and an astonishing array of wild flowers. The Pitsylia area can be reached either from Lemesos or Lefkosia. From Lemesos one takes the Lemesos – Agios Theodoros – Agros road, or Lemesos – Kato Amiantos – Karvounas – Kyperounta road. From Lefkosia one passes through Palaichori – Agros, or through Kakopetria – Karvounas – Kyperounta.
45 km north of Lemesos through Agios Theodoros.
Agros is the centre of the district. A 19th century church now stands on the site of the monastery of Panagia Eleousa, founded by monks from Constantinople in the 9th century.
Stavros tou Agiasmati
Platanistasa village, 15 km from Agros, 30 km off the Lefkosia – Astromeritis road, turning left before Peristerona village.
A 15th century church, lying about 3 km outside this charming old village, retains the most complete cycles of mural paintings of the second half of the 15th century in Cyprus. Visitors can ask for the key from the village priest.
Panagia tou Araka
Lagoudera village is 15 km from Agros or off the Kakopetria – Troodos – Lemesos road (Karvounas crossroad).
The 12 century church situated just outside the village has frescoes which are some of the finest of the late Comnenian style (c1192) prevailing throughout Greece, the Balkans and Russia. Together with Asinou church and that of Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis, it is considered to be one of the most important Byzantine churches on the island. Visitors can ask for the key and be escorted by the priest who is to be found in the premises next to the church
3 km below Kato Amiantos, off the Karvouna – Lemesos road, 32 km from Lemesos.
Once the property of Jean de Lusignan, son of the Lusignan King of Cyprus, Hugh IV. There are two interesting churches; the 14th century church of Timiou Stavrou, the Holy Cross, with beautiful wall paintings and the church of Panagia Katholiki in the centre of the village which dates to the early 16th century with paintings in the Italo-Byzantine style.
On the main Lefkosia – Troodos road 56 km from Lemesos (via Kato Amiantos and Saittas).
The Solea valley is famous for its apples, its Byzantine churches and its picturesque villages. Kakopetria and Galata villages, preserving much of their traditional folk architectural character, are popular hill resorts. Other charming villages in the valley are Evrychou. Flasou and Korakou.
There are four painted churches in and around the village. The church of Agios Sozomenos dates to the early 16th century and retains a complete series of frescoes in the post-Byzantine style. The church of Archangelos Michail or Panayia Theodokos is a timber-roofed chapel just below the village and is completely painted in the post-Byzantine style of the early 16th century. Nearby is the larger church of Panagia Podithou, which once belonged to a monastery. It was erected in 1502 and its paintings are of the Italo-Byzantine style. The small church of Agia Paraskevi on the old Kakopetria-Galata road has murals dating to 1514. The old inn, which has been restored, the ‘Chani Kalianon’, is an interesting example of rural architecture.
20 km west of Pedoulas villages.
The most famous and richest monastery in Cyprus. Founded in 1100 and dedicated to the Virgin Mary, it possesses one of the three surviving icons ascribed to Saint Luke. The icon, covered in silver gilt and enclosed in a shrine of tortoiseshell and mother-of-pearl, stands at the front of the iconostasis. The first president of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios III served here as a novice. At his own wish he was buried at Throni, 3 km west of the Monastery, and not far from his native village of Panagia. Religious fairs are held at Kykkos on 15th August and 8th September. The Museum of Kykkos houses an important collection of consecrated vessels and Cypriot antiquities.
4 km west of Platres
Famous for its pottery and its loukoumi sweet. Visitors can see the Pilavakeion private pottery collection.
11 km southwest of Platres.
A wine producing village, once the property of Sir John De Brie, Prince of Galilee, with the Monastery of Stavros, ‘Holy Cross’, standing by the stone-paved square. The monastery contains old icons, excellent wood carving and other ecclesiastical objects of interest, as well as a small National Struggle Museum. A traditional wine press known as ‘Linos’, has been restored in an old house. A festival is held in the village every August, and there is a large religious fair on the 14th of September.
1.5 km southwest of Pera Pedi, off the Lemesos – Troodos road.
An attractive wine producing village. Two kilometres from the village is the single aisled vaulted church of Agia Mavri, typical of 12th century architecture with murals of the late 15th century. The village has a local Ecclesiastical and Viticultural museum.
28 km north of Lemesos on the south of the Troodos range, off the Lemesos – Agros roa.
In the centre of the village is the small church of Agios Mamas built in 1455 with mural paintings signed by Philip Goul.
45 km south of Lefkosia on the Lefkosia – Agros – Lemesos road, and 15 km from Agros.
The church of “Metamorphosis tou Sotiros”, the Transfiguration of the Saviour, is an early 16th century chapel on the hill, overlooking the beautiful old village. Its interior is completely painted with one of the most accomplished series of murals of the post-Byzantine period in Cyprus. The church of Panagia Chrysopantanassa built in the 16th century contains wall paintings. It is the main church of the upper village.
Palaichori has an Ecclesiastic Museum which houses icons and other consecrated vessels from various churches of the village, as well as a Struggle Museum in a house which once served as a hideout for heroes of the EOKA Independence Struggle (1955-1959). The impressive monument of the “Cypriot Mother” dominates the entire area.
Church of Panagia Chrysokourdaliotissa
A three aisled church with a steep pitched roof and flat roof tiles. It was built in the 16th century as a monastery church dedicated to the Virgin Mary and founded by deacon Ioannis Kourdalis, according to the inscription. The wall paintings are of the same period, and some have western influences. The iconostasis is a beautiful example of wood sculpture of the 16th – 17th centuries.
Eliomylos (Olive press)
A one-room stone building with a pitched roof. The 19th century wooded installation of the press as well as the stone-olive mill together with the millstones are all very well preserved. Various objects and tools used for the production of oil are on display. The Olive Press was repaired in 1995 by the Department of Antiquities. Visitors should ask for the key from the Association of Overseas Cypriots and Friends of Spilia-Kourdalon in a building nearby.
The church of the Holy Cross houses the Ecclesiastical Museum which contains icons and religious artefacts belonging to the village chuches, (Tel: 25- 53 22 52) to arrange a visit). It also has a garden with traditional plants and herbs.
Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis
The church of Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis, Saint Nicholas of the Roof’, stands about 5 km to the north of the village and once belonged to a monastery. It is completely painted with murals dating from the 11th to the 17th century and is considered one of the most interesting Byzantine churches on the island. The church took its name from the steep pitched wooden roof, which was built to protect it form climatological conditions. The small 16th century church of Panagia Theotokos, off the main road, has retained abut half of its murals. The church of Agios Georgios Perachoritis, on the east of the village, has some very original wall paintings belonging to the first quarter of the 16th century. The old quarter of the village has been declared a protected area and traditional houses have been restored.
5 km from Nikitari village, off the main Lefkosia – Troodos road, around 20 km north of Kakopetria.
An early 12th century church dedicated to the Virgin Mary with frescoes of the 12th century and later periods, considered to be among the finest examples of Byzantine mural painting in the island. Visitors should ask for the priest of Nikitari village to escort them.
This fertile valley, well known for its cherries, lies on the north side of the Troodos range. It offers an alternative route to Troodos through the lovely mountain villages of Kalopanagiotis, Moutoullas, Pedoulas and Prodromos. The road to Kykkos Monastery is signposted and turns off the main Lefkosia – Troodos road just below Evrychou. Marathasa is also reached from the Lemesos – Platres – Prodromos road (around 65 km from Lemesos).
5 km northwest of Platres, 40 km from Lemesos, on the Platres – Prodromos road.
This beautiful monastery was originally founded in the 13th century. The present church dating from 1731 contains many valuable icons including a priceless icon of the Virgin Mary plated with silver-gilt from Asia Minor. A large religious fair is held in the grounds on 15th August. The monastery is closed for visits.
The area of krasochoria, meaning ‘wine villages’, is found on the south sided of the Troodos range. Traditions are kept alive in these villages where the cultivation of the vineyards and wine making are still the main occupation of the inhabitants. This is the area, which produces the famous local dry red wine. Main villages in the area are Omodos, Arsos, Pachna, Koilani and Vasa. The area is reached from the Lemesos – Paphos road, turning right after Erimi village of from the Lemesos – Platres road.
Important villages of the region include Omodos, Vouni, Pachna and Arsos, which has an interesting little Folk Art Museum.
Tel: 25- 24 32 23 / Tel: 25- 24 33 47